The plot thickens in this tour-de-force of visual storytelling as our “heroes” hide from the fallout of last issue in sunny Miami. Can an issue centered on world building keep the momentum of what is a fairly truncated series going?
Loose Ends #2 (Image Comics)
Coming off a uniquely scripted and visually stunning first issue, the second chapter of Loose Ends continues to impress with its visual storytelling. Each scene has its own unique visual quirks–from the muted sepia tones of the flashbacks, to the high-contrast neon and black of the car scenes, the color work of Rico Renzi is inspired.
Most every scene has a central focus, whether it be something that can be viscerally experienced visually or is more of an abstract concept, and the art team of Renzi and penciler Chris Brunner make an effort to highlight each one in some unique way. Notice that the only thing with color in the Robbin’ Hood sequence is the money, or the literal spark of connection forming between Cheri and Sunny and you’ll see the contribution that the visuals make to the overall narrative.
While I’m still very interested in the story, and it’s good to get some background information on our two protagonists, I’d be remiss not to mention the concerns that are forming around our presumed antagonists. It’s not about their characterization or anything like that, it’s more about the limited amount of time we as the audience will get to spend with them in what is only a four issue series. With Sunny and Cheri, we’re learning a lot about them in a sort of slow burn manner, and it’s great; this week’s flashback to their earliest interactions is fantastic character building. The time we spend with our antagonists is great too, but it does nothing to inform their role in the plot. I have to assume they’re after Sonny for the same reasons he’s suddenly flush with cash, but knowing that we are now halfway through the series and we don’t know what those reasons are is a bit concerning.
Don’t get things twisted, though: this book is DOPE. It’s compelling, filled with relatable and interesting characters and uses unique art choices to deliver a nuanced and layered story that I only wish had more time to develop. That we feel like such a part of the characters’ experience in a book that doesn’t give us a first-person voiceover is an astounding feat that speaks both to Jason Latour’s use of familiar character archetypes to establish a subtle connection with the audience and the art team’s usage of color and visual trickery to bridge the gaps.
I just wish we had more time with it.